Elbow Murderpants Takes A Dip In The Hot Tub


Synopsis:
A group of best friends have become bored with their adult lives: Adam has been dumped by his girlfriend; Lou is a party guy who can't find the party; Nick's wife controls his every move; and video game-obsessed Jacob won't leave his basement. After a crazy night of drinking in a ski resort hot tub, the men wake up, heads pounding, in the year 1986. This is their chance to kick some past and change their futures - one will find a new love life, one will learn to stand up for himself with the ladies, one will find his mojo, and one will make sure he still exists!

Review:
There are really only two things I feel compelled to talk about regarding Hot Tub Time Machine.
1. The special effects are atrocious. Even the skiing scenes seem like a throwback to the days of poor CGI. But then you ask yourself, “Did they do that on purpose?” – Perhaps!

2. If you lived through the 80’s and/or know a lot about 80’s genre teen movies, you’ll probably see the humor in Hot Tub Time Machine.
There’s a serious question as to whether or not the makers of this film were going for the cheesy CGI effects as a parody element. The parody element is plausible because the film itself is more than partially a spoof of classic 80’s teen comedies like 16 Candles, Better Off Dead, Weird Science, etc. Many of which, appropriately, featured the good work of a very young, very funny, John Cusack. But it’s also possible they just didn’t have the budget to smooth out the green screen effects – who knows?

Anyway, Hot Tub Time Machine does a lot of things. It gets a little coarse in places, a little thin (plot-wise) in others, but one thing it doesn’t do, is take itself too seriously.

Even though they mischievously dabble with serious subject matter like middle-aged social failure, divorce, lost aspirations of youth, and suicide, they refuse to avoid the obvious humor of them.

Seeing the 80’s hairstyles, and fashion re-constituted, and hearing the 80’s music replayed in the soundtrack simultaneously makes you smile and makes you feel thankful that the trends have passed into (hopefully) oblivion. The only thing that I would have loved to see would have been John Cusack breaking the fourth wall – doing his now classic Say Anything, Lloyd Dobler, trench coat, boom box pose in front of some girl’s house. When I saw him wearing a similarly-styled trench coat, three-quarters of the way through the movie, my comedy heart almost leapt.

Without worrying seriously about things like time-continuum continuity, plausibility, or the moral irresponsibility of changing the future, Hot Tub Time Machine delivers a mildly-bawdy, mostly funny spoof on 1980’s pop culture and 2010 adult angst.

With that, I’ll leave you with my favorite 80’s movie quote from 1989’s Say Anything starring John Cusack:

Lloyd Dobler: I got a question. If you guys know so much about women, how come you're here at like the Gas 'n' Sip on a Saturday night completely alone drinking beers with no women anywhere?

(Long pause…)

Joe: By choice, man!

(Review by Elbow Murderpants from Bien Agiter!)

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